What Is a Dislocated Worker for FAFSA?

by Rebecca Renner ; Updated September 26, 2018
What Is a Dislocated Worker for FAFSA?

On the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, you may encounter some terminology that seems tricky. But don’t let that stop you. Completing your FAFSA application is a vital part of applying to college. If you don’t finish it, you may not be able to receive important financial aid. But be careful: If you don’t fill it out correctly, you risk not getting financial aid that you should qualify for.

Why Is Completing the FAFSA Important?

To make sure you get all of the financial aid that you can, fill out the FASFA application thoroughly, and look up words and phrases that you don’t know. This is a place where guessing, even if you base your guess on context clues, can rob you of real money such as thousands of dollars.

Dislocated Worker Meaning

What is the meaning of the phrase “dislocated worker” on FAFSA? According to FAFSA, dislocated worker is an occupational category that your parent or guardian may fall into. On the FAFSA, dislocated worker may mean several different things. Before you answer, you will need to check with your parents or guardians to confirm their job status.

To be a dislocated worker on FAFSA, your parent or guardian must be unemployed under certain conditions. They might have been laid off from their job. Or they have been receiving unemployment benefits and looking to move into a different kind of occupation than their previous one.

Another way your parent or guardian could fulfill the dislocated worker meaning on the FAFSA is if they are self-employed, but a natural disaster has prevented them from making money, therefore making them functionally unemployed.

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Other Possible Conditions for a Dislocated Worker on FAFSA

According to FAFSA, a dislocated worker can also be the spouse of an active duty Armed Forces member who has lost a job because of required relocation.

Still another way your parent or guardian could fulfill the dislocated worker meaning is by being the spouse of an active duty Armed Forces member, and because of relocation, they are underemployed.

The FAFSA dislocated worker can also be a displaced homemaker, such as a stay-at-home mom who is divorced or widowed and no longer supported by a spouse.

When Is Someone Not a Dislocated Worker?

Your parents or guardians cannot be considered a dislocated worker by FAFSA if they have quit their job. This is true whether they are receiving unemployment benefits or not.

About the Author

Rebecca Renner is a journalist and college instructor in South Florida.

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